Dow Chemical polluted the Tittabawassee River with dioxin. Dioxin has been linked to several health issues, including cancer. A comprehensive clean up of the river has barely begun. Dow chemical, the Environmental Protection Agency and the state have wrestled over the cleanup for 30 years.
Michelle Hurd Riddick has spent the last 10 years of her life pushing to get the Tittabawassee River cleaned up.
When she’s not working as a nurse, she has helped file lawsuits against Dow. She religiously attends public meetings about the clean up and follows what the EPA is doing by filing freedom of information requests. And she writes a lot of letters to state and federal officials.
Hurd Riddick is part of an environmental group called the Lone Tree Council. She talked about how she felt as we drove along the river.
“I get frustrated. I get frustrated. There are a number of citizens you know who have hung in on this issue as long as I’ve been on this issue. But not a lot of them. They have to get on with their lives. And I understand that and I respect that.”
The Tittabawassee flows through Hurd Riddick’s hometown of Saginaw before emptying its waters and contaminated sediment into Lake Huron.
Dow did not want to be recorded for this story.